End of an era: The Pokataroo Branch

These are the last photos I took on film, with a craptacular Kodak camera. The old Pokataroo Branch of the north western railway in New South Wales terminated about five kilometres from where I used to live. The old railway station was opened in 1906 as Collarendabri, before being renamed to Collarendebri East, then finally Pokataroo in 1919. The line leading to Pokataroo station closed in 1974, after flood damage.

At the time these were taken, which I believe was 1998, the terminus was still visible. The buffer stop at the end of the line was still standing, the rural station platform rotted and leaning to one side. At the far end of the platform, the base of an old crane.

Close up of some rails and sleepers.

If you like, click "read more" for a couple of newer photos of the railroad remants around Pokataroo, including the crane base and the old rail bridge.

The old crane base near the Poktaroo platform.

Looking back toward Pokataroo township (approximately four houses) from the station's location.

The old Pokataroo rail bridge.

Looking toward Pokataroo atop the old rail bridge.

If you're into this kind of thing, you can find some information about the Pokataroo Branch on NSWrail.net. There're some cool photos if you click on the "photographs" tab, including some of the platform, and one from the '70s of the station building when it was still in-tact.

Also, I'm a nerd. Don't judge me.

Map of the history of Sydney's railways

This is a project that I started -- and kind of abandoned -- several years ago. The story is this: Once, during a trip to Melbourne, I picked up a cool poster showing the entire railway network of the city, complete with all of the stations and lines that had closed down over the years. I quite liked it. I decided to make one for Sydney. I stupidly underestimated the magnitude of this task.

So, I edited it, on-again-off-again, until I ended up with the final version, which I display here. Is it 100% accurate? Probably not. Is it educational? Undoubtedly. Should you always do further research when presented with information on the internet? Of course you should.

Thanks to all the folks at railpage.com.au's forums who helped all those years ago, without your assistance, I would never have had the impetus to continue with this thing. Thanks also to nswrail.net for being such a ludicrously awesome resource for New South Wales railway history, and a fantastic tool for clarifying a lot of the details that went into this map.

If you find any glaring errors, by all means, let me know. I probably won't make any changes, though, because this project has very much been and gone, and it's a huge undertaking to edit it.

Click here for the full, high-res (but heavily compressed) version if you want to read the text. (Warning: is gigantic, won't work in full-resolution on an iPad or iPhone without special software.)

'tis but a preview image. Click for big. (Really big.)